Researchers at Brown University have built a robotic bat wing, which they believe can serve as as stepping stone toward some interesting new flying vehicles. Hopefully it won’t serve as a stepping stone to some giant bat-like Terminator.
Brown University explains:
The robot, which mimics the wing shape and motion of the lesser dog-faced fruit bat, is designed to flap while attached to a force transducer in a wind tunnel. As the lifelike wing flaps, the force transducer records the aerodynamic forces generated by the moving wing. By measuring the power output of the three servo motors that control the robot’s seven movable joints, researchers can evaluate the energy required to execute wing movements.
Testing showed the robot can match the basic flight parameters of bats, producing enough thrust to overcome drag and enough lift to carry the weight of the model species.